Tag Archive: songwriting


[Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six]

The rent on our upstairs apartment was $35 a month. I guess, with the house being in the neighborhood it was in, the owner just appreciated people who paid rent on time, took care of the place, and didn’t attract a lot of attention. That would change a bit, but that’s another story.

When any one of the four of us got paid, we would go to Spats in the West End for happy hour. Then we would pick up food and beer and head home. Joel and I – and anyone who happened by to jam – would play late into the night. When it neared three a.m. we’d head back to the store for more beer. Then the next time someone got paid, we’d do it again. But, with the exception of Spats, that was the routine on really any given evening. We worked at Deli Junction during the day.

One day we were running errands or somesuch. Joel was driving and I was drinking coffee in a styrofoam cup. We hit a bump and I held my cup up and didn’t spill a drop.

“I’m pretty good at that,” I boasted proudly.

Before too long, Joel stomped on the brakes. Of course I spilled coffee on my last clean shirt. And those were laundromat days. I was really pissed and couldn’t understand why he would do that just to be a smart ass. It didn’t take long for us to get past it, but I’ll never forget it. (I’m still pissed.)

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Paypal.me/danroark

My song, Poor David’s Pub, will be released on Monday, August 31 on all the regular sites. The single release party will be the Poor David’s Pub/Kerrville Folk Festival Virtual Open Mic hosted by Rob Case on Monday Night 7 – 10:30 p.m. CT. The proceeds from the song, as with donations to the open mic, will go to Poor David’s Pub to be split with the Kerrville Folk Festival. Let’s help these venues keep going!

Watch and listen to the open mic on Facebook on Rob Case’s Open Mic – Poor David’s Pub page, or my page.

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

[Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4] The picture is of tuna fish salad Cyndy made. I can eat tuna fish and tuna fish salad now. I haven’t had the impulse to gag when I smelled it in years…

….In the upstairs apartment at 916 Acklen Ave. in Nashville, we took turns fixing meals when we ate int. On one occasion when it was my turn, I decided to fix tuna casserole. It was pretty freaking good as I recall – as long as I’m not smelling tuna while I think about it. It received compliments.

After dinner we went out for drinks. We we got back, we drank beer and watched tv, among other things. The casserole dish – meanwhile – had been pushed to the side of the table in the kitchen. It got covered up by other things. With all of us actually working at the same time, as well as practicing and playing shows, the dish was forgotten, for a while.

But, it happened to be particularly warm for the next few days. We began to notice a smell. I don’t remember how long we looked, but obviously we found it. Which is when everyone looked at me and said, “you cooked it, you clean it.” So I did, alternately holding my breath and gagging.

Finally, it was over and I was seriously sniffing dishwashing soap. I will not describe it for a couple of reasons. One is because I wouldn’t wish the experience on anyone else. The second is because I don’t know if I could accurately describe it and not run to the bathroom. As it is, it will be a few hours before I can have any of the tuna fish salad.

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

As you  may gather from the title, the virtual open mic on Monday night is a Zoom meeting shared on Facebook. Hosted by Rob Case, with the more than able assistance from his wife, Lynda, the open mic replaces (for the time being) the live Poor David’s Pub open mic. It also benefits Poor David’s Pub and the Kerrville Folk Festival. The show below is from Monday, Aug. 24.

More about the open mic itself shortly, but first the reason for the title. While the Zoom meeting is going on one laptop, I have the Facebook video going on the other laptop so Cyndy can hear it, too. However, as you may or may not know, there is a short time delay between Zoom and Facebook. During the open mic a few weeks ago, I was talking to Cyndy and forgot about the delay. When the song ended on Facebook, I clapped on camera so they could see me clap. Sadly, he had already begun the next song.

But wait, there’s more… one of the performers said something to me – again, watching on Facebook. By the time I got my headphones on, unmuted the mic, and answered them, they also had begun their next song. Thankfully, they hadn’t started singing yet. Needless to say, I’m much more careful now.

Back to the open mic. There are always different and unique songwriters. Not a bad way to spend a Monday night. And if you would like to play, contact Lynda Case on messenger. The list from the show below is Rob Case, Allen Larson, Cat McGee, Jackie Sue Langford, Darwin, Dan Roark, John Mason, Don Wall, Baylis Laramore, Scott Thornton, Jenni Mansfield Peal, Rick Valente, and Harry Hewlett.

Check it out! Then tune in on Monday. Or join us and play.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

River That Flows is the first song I wrote about Cyndy, wife now, girlfriend then. Or rather, I was thinking about Cyndy when I wrote my half of the song. I was in college at NTSU (now UNT). Tim Duggins was my roommate. We met the year before at Richland Junior College (now Community College). On a Sunday, I think it was, we took our guitars and a 6-pack to the park.

We played the usual songs and practiced Sister Golden Hair by America. We had come to write a new song though. I don’t remember which one of us had the original idea. But after a lot of back and forth of ideas, moments of exhilaration and excitement, and when the 6-pack was gone, we had a song called River That Flows.

Southern Plains would be formed the next year. As I’ve said before, River That Flows was a staple of our set and it remains in my set list today. Joel Nichols and I added leads and flurries, but the song you hear now is the same song we wrote that day.

Unfortunately, Timothy James Duggins died of lung cancer a few years ago. I got in touch with him again

Tim Duggins on the left with his brother, Mike.

before he died. We were going to try to get together, but the last couple of years were tremendously hard on him. It was tough for him to get around.

Rest in Peace Tim!

 

 

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

(Read the first part of the Southern Plains story here. Along with what the cover of the album was supposed to be like if the distributors had let me use the cover I wanted.)

The next time Joel, Bruce, and I got together – with guitars and beer – we each played songs we’d written. We enjoyed each other’s songs, re-playing some so the other two could harmonize. We were excited about what we were hearing. I hadn’t had anyone singing along with me on my songs and I was blown away.

Joel returned to school in Nashville, Tennessee at Scarritt College, which is now the Scarritt Bennett Center. He came back to Dallas over the summer and we played gigs before and after Joel’s summer courses in Nashville, including a show at a party in Slidell, Lousiana. Joel then decided, after three and a half years, that he would forego returning to school to play gigs. I paused my own schooling to move to Nashville with Joel so he would finish his last semester (and play gigs) and live with his other two roommates on the second floor of an old house.

The painting pictured above is a painting of a picture of mine and Joel’s guitars crossed. More to come!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

Since live shows are not possible at the moment, the single release party for River That Flows will be the Poor David’s Pub/Kerrville Folk Festival open mic hosted by Rob Case, Monday night, August 10, on Facebook from 7 – 10:30 p.m. I will play about 8:15 p.m. The open mic will be on the Rob Case Open Mic Page. I will be sharing the show on my Facebook pages, personal and music.

River That Flows is the first single from the coming album, Southern Plains Revisited. It is a reissue of the last recording Joel Nichols and I did as Southern Plains before he died in 1999, plus a couple of songs I recorded but didn’t use on my Chasing After Wind Cd.

Tomorrow’s post will tell the story of Southern Plains and the last recording in the 90’s.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

Good question, thank you for asking. More waiting, I’m afraid. Waiting for the single to be released. Waiting for the time when live music becomes common again. I’m in no hurry if health is at issue.

The reason I am in no hurry is the positive news. The single will be released. I can still play live, as it were. I played my first livestream last Friday that went well until Conner’s camera died. We did get a chance to record a few videos. Waiting does not imply sitting around doing nothing. I have to admit though, that I had a few weeks of not being able to finish a thought at the beginning of this madness.

To answer the question however, quite a bit lies ahead. I’ll be releasing a video this weekend. There will be livestreams to come starting next week – I’m working on the schedule and material now. I play in the Poor David’s Pub Virtual Open Mic hosted by Rob Case every Monday. Check it out at 7 p.m. CT.

More singles will be released, but not on my schedule. The release of the Southern Plains Revisited album has also been moved back along with everything else. Hopefully by September.

So keep an eye out for my new video this weekend. And my next livestream coming very shortly.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

I had planned on publishing a post yesterday. But with social distancing and so forth on the road, There just wasn’t a convenient time to whip out the laptop. I’m getting used to the WordPress app on my phone – I just hadn’t taken the time to check it out. Which is odd considering that time is the one thing I have too much of.

With states taking steps to open up, Sally and I didn’t know what to expect in the way of traffic on the way to Colorado. Of course Dallas and Denton traffic was increasing. Not too much traffic through west Texas, but then, why would there be? The rest areas had very few people, most of whom were either wearing masks or kept their distance. When we stopped for gas, the employees were wearing masks as were most of the customers. Most, but not all, were social distancing.

From Trinidad, Colorado north through Colorado Springs the traffic kept picking up. Enough so that we were caught in bumper to bumper traffic for a time in Manitou Springs. People are still being sensible here for the most part, but there are always those people. Some people were getting back to work in Colorado Springs which caused quite a bit of the traffic.

As for me and mine, except for the masks and social distancing, with the accompanying fear and paranoia, basic life has not changed much. Thankfully, Cyndy is still working and I have writing projects. Granted I’m not playing any live shows at the moment. But I can record videos, do some streaming, and work on new songs. My point is that we have always washed our hands. We have always been careful of door handles and so forth. And we keep a distance from people on a regular basis.

Be that as it may, we’ll see what unfolds. I don’t know if I will get to play what would have been the last show on my tour the end of the month. I’m going home the end of the week. Cyndy and I will come back up here the last week of the month for Cyndy’s vacation and what would have been my shows. We may not be doing much.

Governor Polis of Colorado has said that he would make a decision on restaurants on the 25th. The show at World’s End Brewing in Canon City  is scheduled for the 29th. Since I can set up back in a corner alcove, easily leaving 6-9 feet, I would really like to play the show. The customers are mostly local and probably haven’t left.

But after that, who knows? I have a few shows booked for July that I hope to play. But I’m getting recordings ready to release, writing new songs and other things. I’m not in that much of a hurry if it keeps me from being sick.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

I don’t mean I’m on the road, but I wish I was. I was supposed to start my tour the first of the month. The first half is shot to hell, and I’m not all that optimistic about the last half. And I’m just one of many.  When I say on the road, I mean by myself in my van.

When this all began, I immediately began getting emails about how I, too, could teach music at home online. If I had an inclination to teach music online, I would already be doing it. And where would all the students come from? It’s been said that there is an increase of online learning, but that is across all subjects. The total would also have to include all of those at colleges, high schools, and lower grades who weren’t learning completely online before.

Then they said to take this time to sell more merchandise (I’m a writer – I refuse to call it “merch” – more than just that once). Merchandise didn’t fly out the door before, even for performers with a much larger fan base than mine. Besides, some of those who might buy some stuff are out of a job and on unemployment.

Then there’s the streaming thing. Everyone and his uncle are doing Facebook Live, videos on Instagram, Zoom concerts, and so forth. I don’t have the time to see all the “live shows” because I’m too busy doing other things. So why would I expect a lot of people to be able to watch my “live shows”?

Then they said to release new material. Well that I can do. I was about to release my EP, Southern Plains Revisited, right before my tour began. Joel Nichols, Bruce Gibson, and myself, were Southern Plains. When the gig paid enough, we had bass and drums. Joel and I were a duo for most of the nearly twenty-five years of Southern Plains. With all the extra time currently available, I was able to digitize some of the cassettes and tapes from those days and now have enough material for a full cd rather than just the EP of our last recording session before Joel died. Possibly enough material for future releases. I’ll be releasing music from that project shortly.

My, son, Conner, and I put the finishing touches on the L.A. Sessions cd while in quarantine in Iowa a couple of weeks ago. It includes the remastered songs from my Hello Out There cd in addition to the rest of the songs from that session. It will be released later this year. We also laid down the basic tracks for another cd. Look for new songs throughout the next year. All songs and cds are on the Refrigerator Records label.

While I feel that the streaming game is not for me, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to play for you. When I get my home studio back up to speed, I plan to start a podcast so you can hear it anytime while you’re doing other things. I will also be releasing songs and videos along the way.

Come along for the journey. It’ll be fun!

Oh, and if you like what you read or enjoy what I do, please let me know – paypal.me/danroark.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

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